Customer Panel: Data-Driven Decision Making
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IntelliShift Team

During IntelliShift’s ConnectedOps 2020 virtual event, VP of marketing John Carione hosts a panel with three customers to discuss their IntelliShift deployment and how they’re driving value back to the organization using data.

ConnectedOps 2020 customer panel

Below is the transcript of this session. You can also watch the session and view all sessions from ConnectedOps 2020.


John Carione: Welcome everybody again to ConnectedOps 2020. We’re excited to bring you a great ConnectedOps customer panel here today, three really great analysts, to discuss their IntelliShift deployments and how they’re driving value using data, and so I’d like to get right into it. I’d like to introduce C.W. Schwalbe of Northwell Health, David Latourell from Paraco Gas, and Gary Williams from Liberty Coca-Cola. And, yeah, let’s jump right in. We’re going to do a little bit of an intro and an overview, I’d like to hear a little bit about yourself, your company, what type of offerings you provide, a little bit about your role and main set of responsibilities, and then sure, feel free to tell us a little bit more about the company. So, C.W., why don’t you kick us off?

C.W. Schwalbe: Thank you, John. It’s a pleasure being here. My name is C.W. Schwalbe, I’m the Operations Manager for Northwell Health Center for EMS. We’re a hospital-based EMS organization based out of New York, but we cover from Montauk to basically Manhattan and the five boroughs. We’re a large agency, we do inter-facility as well as 911 assignments, and I oversee everything that relates to the fleet, to supply and logistics, and to all of our special operations on a day-to-day basis.

John Carione: Excellent. How about you, David?

David Latourell: Thank you, John. My name is David Latourell, I’m the Director of Safety and Transportation for Paraco Gas, which is a propane retailer in the Northeast, seven states and operate a fleet of about 250 different units 365 days a year. So, we cover a lot of the compliance, safety, and obviously a lot of the DoT regulations as well.

John Carione: Great, and Gary.

Gary Williams: Thank you, John. I’m Gary Williams, I’m a Logistics Services Manager for Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, and my current responsibility is really focused around capabilities and solutions for our business, whether it be new capabilities to introduce to help drive success or be it current capabilities, how we leverage those more to drive, again, positive results in our business. A little bit about Liberty Coke, we are privately owned by the Coca-Cola System, where our footprint is all of New York City and Long Island, the seven counties north of New York City, a small piece of Fairfield County, Connecticut, all of New Jersey, Philadelphia and the five counties surrounding Philadelphia, and northern Delaware to down about Newark, is our footprint, so that’s the market we service. We employ about 3,800 associates covering eight distribution centers, three manufacturing facilities, and one equipment-dedicated facility, and our fleet, right now, we’re managing about 1,100 vehicles through the IntelliShift platform.

John Carione: Excellent. Great, well, we’re super excited, again, to have you folks on the customer panel today to talk about data and your deployments with IntelliShift and some of the value that you guys are seeing in those deployments, and really how you’re driving visibility across data and across processes to get better business outcomes. So, I’m excited to dive right in. I did have one quick housekeeping item for all of the attendees out there today. You’ll see a Q&A feature on the right of your screen, so feel free to submit any questions as we go through the panel and you hear from folks. Submit your questions during the panel, up to ten minutes even after the panel, and we’ll have folks live right after the panel to address as many of those questions as we can. So, feel free to participate in the panel, and we’re excited to hear answers after the fact as well. Alright, so, of course today, in ConnectedOps, in this panel, we’re very focused on how you guys are leveraging data in a connected operations environment to really move a fleet-based business forward.

So, right out of the gate, let’s talk about what type of data can be useful when you’re looking at your operations, and what are some of the ways that you guys have been able to improve those overt operations over time. So, I’ll start with Gary here, on the right, and so whether it’s GPS location or diagnostic information or thinking about fuel management or even safety and compliance data, why don’t you tell us a little bit about a few data points that you’ve been leveraging as leading indicators of success to steer Liberty Coca-Cola forward.

Gary Williams: Well John, you know, in our use case, what’s been extremely important for us in terms of leveraging telematics has been the supportive safety program, and I’m a logistics manager, so where the trucks go and how long they’re there are very important to us. So, you can imagine all of the data that the capabilities provide to us related to driver behavior is very critical, and it’s nice to see where vehicles are. I mean, it’s always nice to have a visual, but really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s really the data around when they got there and how long they spent there that are really, really important to us, to not only be able to improve our planning, understand our performance, but be able to have intelligent conversations with our customers, too, around what it takes to serve them and when we show up.

John Carione: Fantastic. Move over to David, how about you as far as the key opportunities that you’re seeing in the data to move and improve your operations going forward?

David Latourell: Sure. Well, just to sort of share along the same lines as Gary, obviously when we started with IntelliShift, which obviously is an evolution in itself, the GPS positioning and location was obviously critical, not only for being more effective operationally, but it was also migrating towards a customer service perspective to better communication as to when customers could receive their deliveries or what have you. So, it obviously started out with GPS and being able to locate the vehicles. Another important part, of course, was the compliance side of it in regards to miles reporting and taxes reporting and all the kind of stuff on the compliance side, and of course it’s continued to evolve, because as the equipment has gotten better, and being able to visualize, for lack of a better word, different aspects of the vehicle operation, it’s given us more opportunities to try to identify risk behaviors, tie in stuff for myriad increases, and it’s just given us a lot of different options to continue to evolve our business and make it more effective and efficient both from the inside and the outside.

John Carione: Very good. And, C.W., how about you?

C.W. Schwalbe: So, we leverage heavily the GPS. We do have a mapping and GPS CAD system, as we are emergency vehicles, that’s how they dispatch. We leverage Silent Passenger heavily for units that aren’t in the CAD and for a back-up system for us. So, having that big picture of being able to look at a map and seeing where all of your vehicles are at any given time, and just to echo what Gary said, not only where they are, but their status, how long have they been sitting, have they been at a hospital for 20, 30 minutes and can we expect them to make a quick turnaround, or did they just get there and it’s going to be a while before they’re out? On my end, for the fleet, we also rely heavily on the engine codes, the trouble codes, all of the trouble and the diagnostic readings. Now, especially with the new vehicles, a lot of check engine lights and engine codes are emissions-related; it’s not necessarily a safety concern, where the vehicle needs to be pulled off the road right away. In the past, we had a vehicle, the check engine light would come on, that vehicle and that crew would have to be pulled out of service, so now we have units that are out of service that aren’t available to serve the public, we’d come back, read a code, just to find out that it’s an emissions thing that can get corrected on the next PM and it can go back on the road. So, we’ve actually saved a lot of time and increased our unit availability based on being able to see those check engine and all of the diagnostic codes real-time. And then, we leverage IntelliShift throughout the entire health system, where what we do is kind of setting the standard, the health system is kind of picking up on it and branching out with other departments within the system itself.

John Carione: Fantastic, a lot of really great examples of how you guys are going deep into the data and I just want to highlight, we see that now and again with our best customers that are using the platform most broadly, really that data and understanding data and having kind of a growth mindset about the data is inherent in their DNA, and they’re getting the most value out of the platform, constantly striving from use case to use case to understand how that data can improve their operations. So, great to hear you guys are having that kind of impact. Switching gears, I would like to talk a little bit about now not just improving processes, but how are you operationalizing that data? So, when you think about taking the data and turning it into actionable insights, that’s just as critical as any other step in the evolution of a connected operations program that we’re spending a full half-day here discussing. So, let’s talk about some examples of internal processes that may have been a little bit disjointed, disconnected, clunky, and now they’ve been very much streamlined as a result of your connected operations strategy using IntelliShift. So, we’ll start with C.W., I know you’ve had some success improving some workflows there at Northwell Health, and based on your efforts, how are you using that data in your environment, and what’s one area you’re particularly proud of as far as operationalizing that data, and how were you able to make it happen across your team?

C.W. Schwalbe: So, John, as you mentioned earlier, we dig very deep into data, but data is only as good as what you do with it, so having data is great, but having it sit somewhere and not using it, it serves no purpose. So, we do do a deep dive into all of the data we have, and one thing we’re pretty proud of is using the Inspect platform. So, in the past, our EMTs and paramedics would use paper check out sheets to check out their vehicle, not just the vehicle itself, but all the equipment inside, their bags, their equipment, all the life-saving stuff that they have, would be on a paper checkout, very tedious, it’s long, would take sometimes 15, 20 minutes, they’d have to make sure they kept that sheet somewhere, it would have to stay with them for the tour, make sure they didn’t spill coffee on it, we could read it, and then we’d have to maintain that, so we’d have file cabinets and file cabinets of paper, and we’d also have someone that would have to look through it all.

With the Inspect app, that is eliminated. So, it’s a very simple app, it’s on the iPad that we currently have in the trucks already, so we didn’t need any new equipment. They go through the app, they do their checks, and now we see stuff real-time, so if they are missing something, we have alerts set up that will get to us real-time and we can replace equipment, fix stuff, and go back in as needed, and we’ve actually cut down our in-service time at the start of their tour from 15 to 20 minutes to about 10 minutes now, so we’ve gained anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes on the start of a tour, which is tremendous. I know it might not seem like a long time, but having an ambulance available 10 minutes earlier than it would have in the past just to get somewhere is crucial for us. So, not only does it make it available for patients and first response, but on the back end, in operations, it saves on overtime, it saves from crews getting late jobs that normally would have gotten a call if that crew was still in here checking their vehicle. So, we’re very proud of that. The success was almost immediate. There were a little bit of growing pains going through the app, but we’ve successfully cut down our time between 5 to 10 minutes, and it’s been consistent. It’s great, we love it, and now we’re onto the next step where we’re going to look to see how we can even improve on that.

John Carione: Yeah, that’s great. I mean, we’ve got a lot of folks that are saving costs, increasing profit margins, and that’s great, but you guys are taking it to the next level use case that’s really saving lives, and that’s great and really important. Great, so we’ll move over to David, again, internal processes where they were a little disjointed, disconnected, where you’ve been able to kind of shore up that process and really help operationalize that data for your business.

David Latourell: Well, right out of the head, the first thing that comes into it is regulatory compliance, and of course the transition from paper-based to electronic and digital, has been critical for all of us, but it’s really kind of reflective in our sort of evolution with IntelliShift, whereas this came in almost a decade-plus ago for us, it was really focused on the exciting part was the customer service and having more visibility with our team with our customers, but it was primarily a return on investment bolstered by regulatory compliance requirements and accuracy which led to the savings, something along the lines of what C.W. mentioned, because certain things that just were paper-based took longer, now it’s more efficient, it’s more effective, it doesn’t take as much time, which again, just gives you more efficient times, and as we’ve sort of moved through the regulatory compliance which is always evolving, which IntelliShift has helped us evolve as well, whether it was hours of service monitoring, electronic logging devices, or what have you, as IntelliShift has evolved with the environment we’re in, we have evolved as well, and that’s what has led us to the most important part, at least for my background, is the tying in between trying to recognize the risk-based behaviors and trying to improve the overall safety by trying to identify the habits that we want to try to evolve and change in regards to speed and space management, sudden movements, distracted driving, there’s all different opportunities within the IntelliShift platform to try to leverage improvements, the question is how much can you improve and how fast, and IntelliShift has done a good job of working with us and helping us evolve our program as well.

John Carione: Very good, very good, great. And, how about you, Gary, when you think about Liberty Coca-Cola’s operations and connecting across teams and departments and functions?

Gary Williams: Well, I definitely will echo C.W.’s comments around leveraging the inspection capabilities. We’re using logbook, and that really has helped us to remove a lot of waste from the process, not so much around the drivers doing the inspections, but what happens when there are issues, and now, you have to have fleet mechanics looking at those vehicles. In addition to saving all the administrative burden around maintaining your 90-day file, you’re talking about waste, I think I had somewhere around 2,600 hours of administrative effort over the course of the year in our administration that now you don’t have to deal with anymore because it’s just handled right in the system, so that’s a big plus. I’ll shift gears a little bit, and talk about again, back to the data, we actually formally documented our speeding policy and deployed that, and we’ve seen a 35% reduction in speeding events since we did that, and of course, we’re able to do that because the reliability of the data that we’re getting from IntelliShift and the GPS, that’s been pretty much spot-on every time, so it’s a highly reliable. So, that’s been a big win for us from a safety perspective, and then being able to use all of that location data I referenced earlier, we’ve actually put together a delivery time dashboard that shows us trends on how long and when they get there and the differences between getting there at 12pm versus getting there at 7am and how much time it takes. We’re currently working with vehicle tracking solutions to develop route plan versus actual so that we can look at route performance, we can look at, again, trends, and be able to manage our business a little bit more, understanding where the improvement opportunities are.

John Carione: Fantastic. Yeah, it’s amazing, three different industries, vertical markets, on the panel today, yet many similarities, probably a number of sort of last mile and differences in the types of results you’re going for, but a lot of similarities in how you’re trying to attack and get the most value and the best outcomes from your data, so I think that’s pretty cool. I just wanted to take a quick second here to remind folks you still have time to submit your questions in the Q&A panel, and folks will be live right after this session to answer those questions, as many as we can get to, so be sure to get yours in there for the panel as they go through their deployments. Alright, so, changing around a little bit to a new topic, let’s start to focus on the path ahead. We’re really celebrating a number of new products we’re launching here at ConnectedOps here in the fall of 2020. We’ve got the Inspect application, we’ve got Operations IQ for increased trending analysis and data analytics, eventually more predictive and prescriptive analytics, and of course AI video as well, and you can hit those areas, or hit others as well, but when you think about the future of your company, your career, and your team mates, how do you imagine using data more broadly in your business, whether that’s through more data sources, or integrations to ERP systems, or transactional systems, or even leveraging some of the new sophisticated AI and analytics products that we’re announcing this week at ConnectedOps. How do you think about the future? I’ll start with C.W. on that one.

C.W. Schwalbe: So, yeah, like I mentioned earlier, we started simple, with Silent Passenger and managing the GPS, and one thing we love about IntelliShift is everything is in one platform, and whne we’re looking at data, that is key for us. So, having different data in all different spots and then having to spend the man hours to take that data, cull it together, and get the information we’re looking for is almost counterproductive to having all of these solutions when you still have to manually put it together. So, for us, starting simple with Silent Passenger and then branching out, going into the Inspect app, into the vehicle telematics, the diagnostic trouble codes, the ability to have everything in that one platform and just grow on what we have is key, and everything talking to each other, everything syncing together, Silent Passenger using data from the diagnostics module and back and forth, everything is one cohesive group of solutions, and it’s plug-and-play, which is nice. For this set of vehicles, we might have this set-up, for another set of vehicles, a different set-up, and it works great. The data is there, it’s there when we need it, and we have the ability, like I said, to put that data together, and we know in the future that any enhancements that come up, that IntelliShift comes out with, and stuff that we’re looking for, it’s not a major overhaul, it’s not a learn for everyone again, it’s just basically an addition to a platform we already have, and that’s huge. We don’t like to reinvent the wheel, we don’t want to learn 17 different back ends on how to manage stuff, so just a simple addition to a platform that everyone knows and is familiar with is great. We love it.

John Carione: Great. How about you, David, when you think about leveraging the future of IntelliShift and where we’re headed?

David Latourell: Well, the first thing that came to my mind was just what we just talked about, is the integration. Unfortunately, I’m not in as solid a position in regards to C.W. in the fact that we’re not integrated that well just yet, and that is primarily a result of what is sort of the growth method of our company within our industry, which is not really an organic growth that you try to develop density around your key areas. Our growth generally comes through acquisition, by buying other similar, smaller companies, that will have some technology available, but not necessarily the best options out there. So, whenever we go through this acquisition mode, we have to then mesh whatever data they have into what’s currently being used, which also exposes us to different options. So, over the years, we’re not using all of the different options within IntelliShift, but as they started to come into fruition, I guess, it’s an exciting opportunity for us to really look at what we have been using, and ultimately trying to get to what C.W. is talking about, is integration all in one platform, obviously simplifies a lot of different things, as well as it just makes for pure, better data for which to evaluate and make decisions.

I don’t want to stay exactly on the exact same thing, but that’s the most exciting thing right now as we’re also seeing these potential products that are coming on board with IntelliShift, how to incorporate them into our business, whether it can replace something that we have existing already that isn’t doing what we need, or potentially fill a gap. So, I’m going to mirror exactly what C.W. just said, is that integration is the most exciting part just yet, as we also watch these products develop and see how they give us better advantages, because that’s the one thing I’ve always said: until you can see what’s being collected and try to interpret the data, you don’t know what the potential is, but if you don’t gather it, you have no opportunity to try to make that evaluation and develop it. So, as the animal comes alive, more and more opportunities present themselves.

John Carione: That’s exactly right, you’ve got to consolidate that data from all your internal sources, external sources, normalize it, and consolidate it, and then there’s some great stuff you can do. So, how about Gary, when you think about the future?

Gary Williams: Well, I can certainly stay on the integration theme, it’s very exciting and there are definitely opportunities. I have referenced some of the work we’re doing currently with integrating some of our systems with vehicle tracking solutions, and that’s going to be a foundation for some of the things we want to do in the future. We certainly have other capabilities that I think would be well-suited to try to consolidate it to one platform, the one place where anybody can go in the business to get everything they need, so we haven’t done – I’ll say a great job of that so far, but it’s something we’re definitely interested in doing. But, I would say for us, now the theme, when I talk about integration, is trying to make a shift from reactive to proactive.

You have all of this data, and you can do analysis and make decisions and make adjustments, but how about the ability – when I think about C.W.’s business, you talk about needing to be really in the moment all the time, you need to know what’s going on in that type of business. When I think about our business, why should I wait until the next day or the next week to be understanding what may have gone wrong, or, “Hey, a customer wants to know when their delivery is going to show up.” Why don’t I do something more proactively, things like route progress in the system, right, which requires additional integration, but why don’t I be able to see, right now in real-time, because we have the data, how is a route performing? What has been delivered? What customers haven’t been delivered? Are we following sequence? Are we ahead or behind schedule? Those are the kinds of things that I would like to see, the next generation, if you will, of how we leverage the telematics capabilities to proactively manage our business.

John Carione: Absolutely. When I think about machine learning, artificial intelligence, all of the applications even inside of the IntelliShift platform, we’re just sort of scratching the surface today, and I think we’ll be able to predict and prescribe, and the optimization of your processes just hopefully gets better and better and better, and can really increase the business outcomes you guys are looking for and help you hit your KPIs. So, it’s certainly a very exciting time ahead, the possibilities seem to be endless, grow day by day, and I’d just like to thank you guys so much for your time and your insights. I enjoyed the conversation, and we look forward to hearing more about your success in the future. I hope you’ll continue to connect back with myself and the marketing team so we can continue to tell these great stories to our customer base and our prospects. So, thanks so much. I wanted to give one last reminder, the panelists are going to stick around, they’ll be here live to answer your questions, so keep feeding them in the Q&A pod, and we’ll get to as many as we can. I just wanted to say one more time, thanks so much, we really appreciate it.

Watch the video of this session, “Customer Panel: From GPS Tracking to Connected Operations.”

View all sessions from ConnectedOps 2020.

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